The ABC Family Channel will start airing the anime series Beyblade on July 6 in a 'kids block' along with the latest Power Rangers series and three different Spider-Man animated series.  The cable network, which ABC purchased from Fox, announced that the weekend portion of the kids block will go from two hours to five hours on both Saturdays and Sundays starting July 6.  The Beyblade anime, which debuted strongly in Japan (see 'Anime Ignites Tokyo Toy Craze'), has already passed 51 episodes in Japan, where the spinning tops that give the series its name were a huge hit with kids.


Nelvana, the Canadian-based distributor of children's programming, is packaging the anime series for North American showings (see 'Nelvana Nabs Beyblades'), while Hasbro has the license to sell Beyblade tops in the U.S. (see 'Toy Fair Trends').